I mean, it's everywhere- from Starbucks lattes to ice cream to cupcakes- this fancy type of green tea is having a moment. So, what's the big deal? Isn't it just green tea?
Well, yes and no.Matcha is green tea, but green tea isn't matcha.(Remember grade school math: a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle isn't a square? Yeah, same type deal here.)
How is matcha different?
Matcha literally means "powdered tea", and that's exactly what it is. Pulvarized green tea leaves. The leaves used to make it are the cream of the crop of green tea- they're grown in the shade and only the best buds are chosen for matcha making. Fancy, huh?
We all know that green tea is good for you, but when you brew a cup of green tea, even from the best loose-leaf tea, you're only getting some of the green tea goodness. You're not consuming the whole leaf and hot water can only do so much. Since matcha is the whole leaf ground into a powder, you're gettingallthat good stuff. Yay!
Matcha is green tea, but green tea isn't matcha.
What's in it?
Amazing antioxidants like l-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These mouthfuls help fight inflammation in the body (including relieving sore muscles!). Bonus: EGCG is linked with helping boost your metabolism ! Gotta love that!
CAFFEINE!But it feels different. Matcha has about three times the amount of caffeine as a cup of green tea, or about that of a cup of coffee. But the buzz is different thanks to l-theanine, which induces relaxation without causing drowsiness. That's why a cup of matcha feels like "alert calm". AKA: you're energized without feeling jittery. Win-win, if you ask me!
How to LOVE it?
Unless you're a matcha conossieur, or a big fan of umami flavor (one of the five tastes, it's strong, savory… think soy sauce or Parmesan cheese), you're probably not going to drink matcha in the traditionally Japanese way (literally just mixed into hot water with a bamboo whisk). So, what's a girl to do? Don't worry, I've got three different recipes for you to get your matcha love on with. Plus, they're all totally #LSFapproved